with Simplicity Expert, A.Michelle Blakeley
In today’s fast-paced world, small business owners are even more hyperconnected and overloaded with information, choices, and distractions. One of the hardest things to determine is whether you’re on the right path or not. Great work requires taking risks. Couch Sessions offers practical information, new perspectives and quick tips to help point you in the right direction.
Are you a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner? Got a question you just can’t seem to find the answer for? Please submit your small business questions below, in the comments section. Be sure to bookmark and check this page each week, your question and the reply could appear right here in “Couch Sessions” for entrepreneurs. This week on Couch Sessions…
Q: How can I find someone willing to work initially for peanuts and commission to help with sales, marketing, and client training when Craigslist does not work? Sarah Weinberger , http://consulting.butterflyvista.com
Employees and independent contractors are extensions of your business. In preparation for bringing on additional help, you want to be clear about what your needs are, what results you expect, be able to communicate those needs and be willing to offer something (fair wage, commission, credit, barter, etc.) in exchange. If you can’t afford to pay a fair wage, consider contacting your local community colleges and high schools about internships. Internships should not be taken lightly. Please don’t approach it as a resource for “free labor.” Interns are looking to you to provide proper training, experience and a stipend in exchange for meeting and fulfilling your work description. You could also network and collaborate with a complimentary business who provides the services you need in exchange for …? (i.e. barter). Are there any other benefits besides money that you could offer to potential staff? (i.e. flexibility, bonuses, gas, meals, etc.) Be creative, it will help widen the pool and find the right person for the job.
Q: How can a small business assess the value of acquiring a business coach to grow? Jason Fisher, http://www.waterwayfinancialgroup.com
As your business evolves and defines its purpose, clients and market; you will no doubt arrive at a point where you need outside assistance to shift gears and get to the next level. Despite your current acumen, you don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes it is only with the help of another professional that you can stretch and reach for what is next in your business life. However, before you do, assess your immediate and long-term goals. Are your current skills, knowledge and resources sufficient to bring them to fruition effectively? If not, this is where a consultant or coach could be helpful and valuable. A suitable consultant or coach could provide you with specialized knowledge as well as save you time and money you would spend struggling on your own.
Ultimately, you are responsible for your business decisions. By establishing realistic objectives, benchmarks and metrics you can easily determine if the value of a coach or consultant is effective and worth the cost. Communication is essential when working with a coach or consultant. Needs, plans, expectations and anticipated results should be thoroughly discussed. Know who you are hiring/working with and don’t be afraid to ask about their previous successes and clients.
Now let’s talk about YOU! Are you a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner? Need help NOW? Call (916) 287-1432
Couch Sessions is a weekly small business advice column designed to answer questions from struggling and/or simply inquisitive entrepreneurs. Micro Business Therapist™, A.Michelle Blakeley brings two decades of small business organization, management and development experience to the table in response to readers’ questions. Her advice is timely and transformative. Revitalize, reimagine and persevere with her daily-curated online magazine, Micro Business Therapy™